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Explaining DO's for dummies

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by realruby2000, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Hey everyone,

    sometimes people are plain dumb...or mabey they're being stupid...but sometimes when i try to explain the differences between and MD and a DO (which are almost none), some slow retards start thinking im a chiropractor/homeopathic herb man. and some dont understand that osteopathic medical schools are medical schools just like allopathic! anyone have a quick and simple way of getting such an easy concept accross? would it be ok to sy DO = MD + chiroprct? :confused:
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  3. pags

    pags Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2000
    Well, first of all, I hope you were in a great hurry or have injured fingers when you were typing your statement. Secondly, I knew going into the osteopathic field I would have to explain myself over and over again to lay people that have no idea what a D.O. is or means. Basically, I tell these folks that my training involves the best of traditional medical training along with additional training in manipulative skills that allow for healing and diagnosis. I never use the word "chiropractor" because in truth, osteopathy, practiced appropriately, is not chiropracty.
  4. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    Perhaps the difficulty you're having in explaining the differences between MDs and DOs to lay people lies in the fact that whatever differences exist between the two professions are a little too wishy-washy for most people to accept.

    Realize that any differences today between the allopathic and osteopathic professions are essentially intangible or confused with chiropractic.

    Look at the hard differences between allopathic and osteopathic medicine first.

    1) Osteopathic physicians attend one of nineteen colleges of osteopathic medicine and MD physicians attend one of one-hundred and twenty-six schools of medicine.

    2) Osteopathic physicians have their own professional organization, the AOA, but many are also members of the AMA -- probably confuses people.

    3) Osteopathic physicians have their own system of postgraduate training (residency) that is not open to MDs, but roughly 2/3 of graduating DOs choose to enter the postgraduate training programs (residencies) of MDs -- probably confuses people.

    4) Osteopathic physicians are licensed in all fifty-states of the USA to practice medicine and surgery in a limitless scope that is equal to that of MDs.

    5) Osteopathic physicians are trained to practice osteopathic manipulative medicine, but some MDs have sought advanced training in this and have even enrolled in structured programs (as at KCOM).

    But the proponents of DO = MD + OMT miss what may be the real difference between MDs and DOs, something that's been taught to generations of DOs and has become, essentially, the battle-cry of the new AOA campaign. "DOs treat people, not just symptoms." HOLY COW! Can you be more vague? The implication here to people who are well-read on the subject is that osteopathic physicians take a whole-person, whole-body approach that excludes nothing and tends to lack a focus. More importantly the battle-cry does little to explain to people why DOs are different as, anybody knows, MDs don't just treat symptoms either and with 2/3 of DOs going through MD residency programs where the "osteopathic concept" is decidedly lost, you can bet that more DOs are practicing like MDs. And with the MDs being the older of the two, and with their supposed treatment of "just symptoms," funny that it's worked for so long without a peep from the then-non-existent osteopathic community. :)

    Anyway you'll find that the hard differences between MDs and DOs do little to explain to lay people why DOs are a separate profession, other than that there's a different set of letters at the end of the doctor's name. But you'll also find that the more wishy-washy differences (DOs treat people, not just symptoms) escape practically everyone.
  5. Gauravvv

    Gauravvv 7+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2001
    New York
    I often explain the difference using the same way turtleboard explains it.
    I use the MD + OMM = DO formula.
    Also, i mention that DOs do whatever MDs do, but MDs cannot do what DOs do, which is practice Osteopathic Manipulation.
  6. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Well, first of all, I hope you were in a great hurry or have injured fingers when you were typing your statement.

    whats that suppose to mean? are u actually concerned about my spelling?
  7. mikeaparker

    mikeaparker Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 1999
    My 2 cents...

    It's not that M.D.'s can't have a holistic approach. I believe that D.O.'s are taught this approach in school.. Some people by their nature, tend to take into consideration other underlying factors, such as psycho-social issues or the patients economic status, ability to gain access to and follow prescribed regimens... etc... You can teach and teach... you cannot change everyone. There are some M.D.'s out there who practice medicine with a holistic approach, taking as many factors into account as possible, conversely, there are D.O.'s who (may or may not have done a M.D. residency) tend to fall into the stereotypical M.D. realm of treating only the symptoms, and not looking far enough into the underlying causes etc....

    So It's a gray area once again...

    There aren't many hard fast answers in this world...

    I don't think it is possible to give a one sentence answer to this question, and give the questioner an accurate depiction of the differences.....

  8. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    The best explaination is by TURTLEBOARD...he said it better than any article in "O" magazine ever could.

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